Novak Djokovic, World Number 1 Tennis Player, is Lactose and Gluten Intolerant

By | January 19, 2016

Discover how the world’s best tennis player discovered he was lactose and gluten intolerant, and made him transform his lifestyle helping him to become world number one.

With the Australian Open to start on the 16 January, defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic has set his eyes on another Australian Open title. Prior, few years back when Djokovic was not number one, the Serb experienced several mid-match faints that threatened his tennis career.bread-rice-and-pasta-from-whole-grains-on-white-backdrop

Dr. Igor Cetojevic, a nutritionist,   discovered the problems the Serb  was experiencing. During a consultation in Croatia during the 2010 Davis Cup, the nutritionist discovered that the Serb was gluten and lactose intolerant. This was the very reason why Djokovic was experiencing mid-match collapses. This was the turning point of Novak Djokovic career as a change in his diet led him becoming world number one a year later.

Today the Australian Opeb defending champion tells his story in his remarkable book, Serve to Win, as how a change in his diet had become the game changers in his health and tennis career.

serve to win

Review: Serve to Win by Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic experienced the best ever single season by a single professional tennis player in 2011. He won three Grand Slams, ten titles and forty-three consecutive matches. The greatest question on everyone’s mind was how did go mid-match collapses, breathing difficulties and constant injuries; to world number one in such a short period. The answer was simple: He changed his diet.

In his book, Serve to Win, talks about living in war-torn Serbia and revisits the time he survived the bombing of Belgrade in his home country. He elaborates how he was raised as a child from Serbia to becoming one of the best tennis players ever witnessed in the history of sport.

An individual that has great love and cravings for bread and pasta, as well as pizza – ironically his parents own a pizza restaurant – his body simply cannot process lactose and gluten. With the removal of dairy and especially gluten, even tomatoes (as he has a mild intolerance to tomatoes) for a period of two weeks, Djokovic instantly  felt energised, lighter and quicker.

With the elimination of dairy and gluten from his diet his health problems were getting smaller and smaller. He lost those extra kilos, his mental health improved and his physical health improved drastically. A small change in diet has allowed him to achieve the biggest dreams of his life: winning the Wimbledon and being ranked world number.

Depth into Novak Djokovic Lifestyle

The essential part of Djokovic diet is to totally remove gluten, dairy, and sugar (as much as possible) from his diet. His diet consists mainly of vegetables, beans, white meat, fish, nuts, fruits, seeds, chickpeas, lentils and healthy oils.

Djokovic is very meticulous about what he eats. He prefers organic food and almost every meal he cooks himself. Even when he is on tour, he stays in hotels that will allow him to use their kitchen. What I found astonishing about the Serb, is his eating practices: He takes time to eat his food – you will never see him rush through a meal; and he never  watches television, nor uses a tablet, laptop or computer while eating.stock-photo-41501104-tropical-smoothie

Since adopting his new lifestyle Djokovic has become less hot-tempered and less anxious. He is very prompt with his sleeping times. He tries to sleep at the same time every day (am sure this is challenging when on tour and travelling through different time zones), which is around midnight and wakes up by 7am.

A typical day of the world number when not on tour begins with yoga or tai chi. Thereafter he has his breakfast, followed by a training session with a training partner comprising of stretching and sports massage. He has lunch that is free of bad carbs, contains minimal amounts of sugar and low in protein. Thereafter he does weight resistance training followed by a protein drink. He has another exercise session a bit later followed by another massage. Thus completing his physical work for the day.

The Serb has been followed by many other tennis players that prefer to go diets that are gluten-free and dairy-free. Here a typical menu that the greatest tennis world of our generation enjoys:

Glimpse into Novak Djokovic’s Daily Food Intake:

Day One

  • Breakfast: Water first thing out of bed; two tablespoons of honey; muesli (including organic gluten-free rolled oats, cranberries, raisins, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and almonds)
  • Mid-morning snack (if needed): Gluten-free bread or crackers with avocado and tunapasta
  • Lunch: Mixed-greens salad, gluten-free pasta primavera (including rice pasta, summer squash, courgettes, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and optional vegan cheese)
  • Mid-afternoon snack: Apple with cashew butter; melon
  • Dinner: Kale caesar salad (kale, fennel, quinoa and pine nuts) plus dressing (including anchovies or sardines); minestrone soup; salmon fillets (skin on) with roasted tomatoes and marinade

Day Two

  • Breakfast: Water first thing out of bed; two tablespoons of honey; banana with cashew butter; fruit
  • Mid-morning snack (if needed): Gluten-free toast with almond butter and honey
  • Lunch: Mixed-greens salad, spicy soba noodle salad (including gluten-free soba noodles, red bell pepper, rocket, cashews and basil leaves, plus spicy vinaigrette)
  • Mid-afternoon snack: Fruit and nut bar; fruit
  • Dinner: Tuna nicoise salad (green beans, cannellini beans, rocket, tuna, red pepper, tomatoes and canned chickpeas), tomato soup, roasted tomatoes

Day three

  • Breakfast: Water first thing out of bed; two tablespoons of honey; gluten-free oats with cashew butter and bananas; fruit
  • Mid-morning snack (if needed): Home-made hummus (including chickpeas and gluten-free soy sauce) with apples/crudités
  • Lunch: Mixed-greens salad, gluten-free pasta with power pesto (including rice pasta, walnuts and basil leaves)
  • Mid-afternoon snack: Avocado with gluten-free crackers; fruit
  • Dinner: Fresh mixed-greens salad with avocado and home-made dressing; carrot and ginger soup; whole lemon-roasted chicken

Djokovic has created a lifestyle that does great wonders to your mind and can change your life in just fourteen days. With great eating tips, weekly menus, easy recipes – this is perfect for those that are gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant and even if you are looking to shred those extra kilos. The Serb includes great tips about exercises that eliminate stress and anxiety – the very same one he used prior to a match.

CLICK HERE TO BUY: SERVE TO WIN

serve to win

Are you inspired by the lifestyle change of Novak Djokovic? You do not have to be a superstar to change your lifestyle and live a better life. Hope this gives you hope about being gluten and lactose intolerant.

tennis

Will you be following the Australian Open and supporting Novak Djokovic? To be honest I am a huge Federer fan, but after reading Serve to Win, Novak Djokovic has been a great inspiration to being positive and living positively with these lifestyle changes.

 

30 thoughts on “Novak Djokovic, World Number 1 Tennis Player, is Lactose and Gluten Intolerant

  1. Eloah

    Great review on this book. I am interested in it since my husband was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and I am lactose intolerant. I have been reading a lot about Gluten intolerance and there seems to be a link on GMO and the stuff being sprayed on gluten containing foods that are causing gluten intolerance. It just keeps popping up as I do research I wonder if he mentions it at all. Does he use organic products or regular now. I do wonder if that plays a role as well. Great post! Best wishes!

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Serve to Win is perfect for your family and to implement the world champion’s lifestyle in your life. He still uses organic where he can- he tours a lot and can be very challenging at certain areas. He prefers organic over GMOs because of the effect it has on him – so yes he does mention it. Eating organic over GMO does definitely play a role according to the World Champion.

      Reply
  2. Anne Line

    Hello, a good and useful article you have write,. I also believe that the kind of food we eat is important, in order to provide more and for our health. I try to eat as little as possible wheat because I feel it is not good for me, and I now many other people have feel the same about wheat. Like the Champions menu, think I have to try this. Anne Line

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Thank you, it amazing how this diet can transform your life and big things can come out of it.

      Reply
  3. Nate

    Hi, I’m a big gym enthusiast (spend a couple of hours per day in the gym) and I myself have very recently essentially cut dairy from my diet (I may allow myself a small amount of cheese or a glass of milk once a week) as I believe as humans we’re aren’t physiologically designed to process it in the high volumes that we currently consume it in.

    One area I have struggled is with getting the right amount of protein as dairy has always been a quick and easy way to get a protein hit. I’m going to try a couple of those meal ideas though as they should help me mix my diet up a bit while still getting the right amount of protein intake.

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Hi Nate,

      Hope these meal ideas help you with your diet and hope you find great substitutes for protein that are non-dairy.

      Reply
  4. Von

    For a sick guy, he is pretty damn good! LOL I am not a huge fan of tennis but I do watch the big matches. Always Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer at the end.

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Hi
      He is damn guy – wouldn’t call him a sick guy – more that restricted to eat foods that we commonly find. I wonder who will be winning this year’s Aussie Open, and was sad to see Nadal’s early exit.

      Reply
  5. Danielle

    Very cool to see a break down of how an athlete eats without gluten and dairy! Protein is so important for athletes and there are so many other ways to make sure you get it other than dairy. I’m super curious about the honey in the morning. Does he speak to why?

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Honey is a great alternative to sugar and has great health benefits – hope this answers the question.

      Reply
  6. Russel

    He is so right about his diet. Thank you for this. I now have some new addition to my diet ingredients. If you really know what food you need to avoid and eat you will have no problem with your health. This article can give a lot of inspiration and knowledge to everybody to succeed not just in making money but in HEALTH and LIFE in GENERAL.

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Serve to Win is an inspiration to many about how a change in one’s lifestyle can the turning point in one’s life. It a great read, great inspiration and a great lifestyle to implement in one’s life.

      Reply
  7. gus

    hi Uwais, I think a great article , I like , you’re definitely going in the right direction …. you’ll be lucky !!

    Gus

    Reply
  8. gus

    hi Uwais, I think that is an amazing article.
    You are definitely in the right direction.
    Good look. !!

    Gus

    Reply
  9. Rosdy

    Hi Uwais,

    Great in depth about Novak Djokovic eating lifestyle.
    Who knows, that the most renowned athlete even had severe lactose and gluten intolerant.
    In the perspective of eating, i guess, we have to discover our system intolerant to any types of foods, and use it to our advantages.
    Create our own diet and stick to it.
    Thanks for the great post Uwais.

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Hi
      Thank you for the post. It just shows how eating habits can sometimes play a huge impact in your daily activities.

      Reply
  10. Surbhi

    What a great informative post! I was unaware of this part of Djokovic’s life although I am a big fan. Also his diet plan is really helpful for vegetarians as well. I will definitely read his book. Thanks for the suggestion and the post.
    Keep up the good work

    Surbhi

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Serve to Win is a great book that will inspire you about how lifestyle changes can play a huge role in succeeding and most importantly improving your health.

      Reply
  11. Helen

    This is truly remarkable. Novak Djokovic was good but became great after this discovery. I can only imagine what it would have felt like to not now what the problems was. I am very happy that he was able to maximize potential.

    I really like his daily food intake I might just copy it for me. It just looks so healthy.

    Thanks for sharing this very interesting article.
    helen

    Reply
  12. Nia

    Removing gluten, dairy, and sugar is sooo hard! I’ve been trying it for a year now, I must say that over weekends I tend to stray from the guidelines a little. I also find it difficult to get new meal plans that will fit my lifestyle, this one seems very good to me & I will give this one a try next week. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Hi if these recipes used by the World champion makes a difference to your life, remember to find more of these excellent recipes in the Champion’s book, Serve to Win

      Reply
  13. Nnamdi

    Hello, I didn’t know that the world’s number one tennis player,Novak Djokovic suffered Lactose and Gluten Intolerant. And I didn’t also know that being intolerant to lactose and gluten could make one to pass out too. How serious some illnesses could be, but many people don’t get know unless when you have a personal experience…or you are told just as I got to learn from your post.

    Thank you because you just enlightened me with your post, very informative…

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      Hi

      He was passing out because of how these intolerance can really take a toll on a person by draining your energy. Being on the tennis court and trying your best to continue and completing the game can therefore be very challenging when you have no idea what is going wrong. Am glad this has been very informative. Serve to Win is an excellent book to learn about eating clean as well.

      Reply
  14. Michel

    I’m also lactose intolerant and this article is very helpful Uwais, Thank you very much.
    I will definitely try to create a diet using Novak’s three day plan, if it worked for him, it should work for me also. Great article!

    Reply
    1. Uwais Post author

      This is a great way to live healthy. A man that’s in the final of another Aussie open, this is definitely a champions diet.

      Reply
      1. Uwais Post author

        Yes and now he win’s another Aus Open – this is definitely the champion’s diet.

        Reply
  15. Fred Chong

    Great post about “Lactose and Gluten Intolerant” which I learnt its adverse impact to the World Number 1 Tennis Player. Your post also reminded me the importance of going on a well-researched and proven diet plan. “We are What We Eat” – going on a diet change program may just solve some of our health problem. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  16. Pingback: Celebrities that are Lactose IntolerantLactose Intolerance Solutions - Lactose Intolerance Solutions

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